Is the 2019 10.5-inch iPad Air the right iPad for you?
Apple iPad Air (2019) detailed review
Tablets have been a great device for content use. However, with the increasing power available for significant improvements in mobile chipsets, they are gradually gaining ground in the realm of laptops. We’ve seen the Surface Pro, Surface Go, Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and many more devices and try to give users a PC-like experience on a tablet device. Apple has entered the laptop as an experience like the iPad Pro launch. Until the launch of iOS 13, the iPad wasn’t exactly a great option for those looking for a laptop-like experience. Unlike other devices, in order to give users a pure laptop computing experience we would like to write some of the above mentioned at home.
WWDC is fast approaching 2019 and Apple has showcased iOS 13 which brings the iPad Pro closer to a PC as an experience. But what about the iPad Air? The iPad Air is for those who are looking for a device to use a great content. At the moment, however, it has Apple’s flagship chip, which supports first-generation Apple Pencil and Apple Keyboard. It’s almost like a first generation iPad Pro without a quad speaker setup. So who is this device for? Does it serve utility? Is this the right iPad for you? Find out.
Box and original specs
In the box, you will find the tablet with a lightning wire and a power adapter Sadly, you won’t find Apple pencils or smart covers in the box. You must buy them separately.
Original specification at a glance
Display: 10.5-inch True Tone Display with 2224 x 1668 pixel resolution
Platform: Apple A12 Bionic
Built-in storage: 64GB / 256GB
Expandable storage: NA
SIM support: Yes
3.5mm Jack: Yes
Thickness: 6.1 mm
OS: iOS 12
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 7MP
Construction and design
The basic design of the iPad hasn’t changed much since the original iPad Air was launched. It has become thinner with slightly more rounded edges for better grip around the corners but other than that, the basic design remains the same. We get Touch ID in iPad Air and Apple’s Face ID is reserved for iPad Pro.
The front of the device is only clean with the home button cum touch ID and front camera. We got the Silver iPad Air for review but also available in Space Gray and Gold. In the back, you have the Apple logo in the center and a camera without a flash in the upper left corner. At the top is your headphone jack, at the right is the volume rocker and at the bottom is the Lightning port with two speakers. On the left, we have the Apple keyboard connector and smart cover. The body of the iPad Air is made of solid aluminum and the build quality is top notch. This tablet may survive more than a few drops although we do not recommend it.
The last tablet we reviewed was the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and it has a glass back that makes it look premium but also makes it brittle.
As far as the design of the tablet is concerned it is ergonomic and easy to hold for long hours. The iPad’s touchscreen is still the best surface for typing compared to other tablets, and if you’re comfortable typing on an iPad like me, you don’t need to invest in a keyboard. The only downside is the smart cover. It fits snags on the iPad and protects the display but still has only one angle at which the iPad Air can rest. The “jugad” we use to prop up the display a bit is to stick our phone between the cover and the iPad to change the angle. Otherwise this is the only flaw in the design of the great product
Display and audio performance
The display of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is awesome. The resolution makes the content look chic, it supports Dolby Vision and if you are someone who is going to double your favorite TV shows on this device, you will get a treat. Needless to say, Apple Cinema has a large library that you can rent / purchase with Dolby Vision support for a rich visual experience. The vibrancy of the color is definitely something to notice. Whether it’s Young Sheldon’s vibrant colorful city, Wonder Woman’s unparalleled look at the world or the Netflix originals like The Umbrella Academy, Daredevil, Polar and much more, the color of content and the visual fidelity are unmatched. I would be disappointed if a Dolby Vision active True Tone display is reserved for Pro only, but seeing content on this display is a treat. We recorded a maximum of 550 lux per meter of our brightness.
We used the display under direct sunlight and it works quite well. However, under the scorching heat of the Delhi sun, we do not recommend using it for movie watching. The display works without any complaints in daily activities like reading emails, reading books, playing games or browsing the internet. It is sometimes reflected, but it is not something that can be taken care of by turning it around.
Coming to the audio, unlike its Pro siblings which get a quad speaker, the 10.5-inch iPad Air gets 2 speakers, both firing in the same direction. I understand that the quad speaker setup is reserved for the Pro, but the speaker setup can be on either side of the display for a stereo experience. I watch a lot of video content on the iPad and I especially miss the channel shift from left to right during movies. Nevertheless, the speakers are loud, clear and perform well even for watching movies. Conversations are catchy, and even when a lot of things are happening on the screen, such as background scores, explosions and conversations, everything is easy and well understood which makes the device better for content use. Speakers also work well for facetime calls and music.
Overall, the speakers are great for content use. They’re loud enough that you don’t have to hang out with your friends near it to enjoy a trailer and clean up in high volume. The only problem is the lack of channel isolation which is an inconvenience for me
When it comes to daily performance, such as checking mail, browsing the internet, watching videos, etc. The tablet performed impressively without any stuttering. This works very well when you use apps on a split screen. iOS is designed for the iPad and will be upgradeable to the upcoming iPadOS 13. From the ability to use apps on the split screen to watching a movie on Netflix and then navigating the rest of the device to just multitasking. If you’re a Mac user, there are many convenient ways to move your content from one device to another, such as AirDrop. With iPad OS 13, you’ll be able to use your iPad as a second display without the need for a third-party app, which is great.
There was nothing that I did to cause it. Play any game outside the App Store on the device, literally any game, and you will not see the loading screen for too long or you will not experience any delay or stuttering. From PUBG to Dead Trigger and more, every game we play on the device works just fine.
If you’re looking for a portable device to play games, watch movies, do some work, access thousands of apps, read ebooks, read comics, the iPad can do it all. At the time of writing this review and running the device on iOS 12, we still don’t think the device replaces your PC. However this may change with the iPadOS 13 and we will tell you how it works when we get our hands on the new OS. I still love the flexibility that Mac OS or Windows brings with it for a desktop work environment and that experience still can’t be replicated on the iPad. The iPad is a great device for what it can do. This is not a PC yet.
On paper, the 10.5-inch iPad Air has an 8134mAh battery. Playback from streaming services has dropped from 6 to 8 percent in one hour, depending on the streaming service. Local playback is down 5 to 7 percent per hour. Lower the brightness a little (trust me, you won’t always use it in full brightness) and you have a device that can playback content for about 15 hours which is impressive. Battery life will vary depending on usage and in some productivity situations it may drain quickly. Gaming also drains the battery quickly with a drop of about 15 percent per hour.
Should You Buy an iPad Air 10.5?
Let’s re-explain that question, which iPad is right for you? For starters, if this is your first iPad and you want a taste of the Apple ecosystem, there are inexpensive options to choose from. You have a 9.7-inch iPad starting at 28 28,000, powered by an A10 Fusion chip, the base variant has 32GB of storage and a 9.7-inch display as the name implies, which is, indeed, still a good display. If you want to use the first genre Apple Pencil, want a new processor to prove the device in the future, and have certain high-end apps that you want to run smoothly, you can choose between the new iPad mini and the 10.5-inch. IPad Air. Your purchase decision honestly depends on the size of the screen you feel comfortable with. Personally, I really like the Mini’s compact form factor, but when I watch a video in the morning, or enjoy a great TV show or a game on a big display, yes, I like the 10.5-inch iPad Air and that you should consider One. The around 8-inch iPad mini (to be exact 7.9) is ideal for those who want a device with a slightly larger display than their smartphone.
If you are a Pro user with a desire to connect your flash drive and camera directly to the iPad and need a PC close to the experience, you may want to consider the iPad Pro family. We haven’t reviewed the new professionals, but if the functionality of the current 10.5-inch iPad is anything to go by, we think the professionals will bring an extra punch with them.
The only downside to the new iPad Air is that it doesn’t support the lack of a second generation Apple Pencil and stereo speaker setup. If you’re looking for a device to use content on the go, get some productivity done, and get access to thousands of apps, the iPad is definitely worth considering. Unlike a smartphone, this is a gadget that will last about 6 to 7 years before you are guaranteed an upgrade.